17 May 2022
Economic Assistance Agreement with the Republic of Cuba
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has responded to a Parliamentary Question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) relating to the Economic Assistance Package (EAP), of R350 Million to Cuba, signed on 03 February 2012 in Pretoria.
In the said Parliamentary Answer, Minister Pandor indicated that the EAP consisted of three Facilities:
- Facility A of the Package (a grant of R40 million for the purchase of seeds)
- Facility B (a solidarity grant of R100 million for the purchase of goods in the South African market) which has been implemented and completed; and
- Facility C, which was a credit facility amounting in total to R210 million for the procurement of SA goods, split into two tranches as per the signed Agreement.
The first tranche (Tranche A) of R70 million under Facility C was available immediately on entry into force of the Agreement; and the second tranche of R140 million became available after the repayment of the initial R70 million.
For the first tranche of R70 million, only R63 million was requested for disbursement and the loan was fully repaid. Access was then granted to the second tranche (Tranche B) of R140 million.
The Government of Cuba repaid the first tranche with interest in June 2019. The second tranche was then granted in 2021. The second tranche is payable bi-annually. The first instalment date was 31 December 2021 and the last instalment is due on 30 June 2026.
The EPA expired on 17 July 2021, but in terms of Article 11 of the Agreement, the Agreement will remain in force until all obligations of the Parties have been fulfilled. Therefore, as far as the repayment of the money under Facility C is concerned, the Agreement will remain in force until the money is repaid by Cuba.
Minister Pandor has clarified that there is no link between what is currently before the courts, namely the donation of humanitarian aid to the value of R50 million, and the Agreement that was signed in 2012 to make available an EAP of R350 million to Cuba that consisted of grants and a loan facility to be repaid with interest by Cuba.
Funds under the EAP could also only be used to procure goods in the South African market, which is beneficial to the South African economy.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road